Juventus and Sporting Lisbon meet on Thursday in the first leg of their last-eight encounter.
After securing a spot in the quarter-finals, Juventus experienced some mixed fortunes. While they won their matches against Inter and Verona, they faced a controversial Copa italia draw and subsequent defeat against Lazio last weekend.
They are now in seventh place in the Serie A standings. This puts them eight points behind Milan, who are in the final Champions League spot.
Juventus has won 11 out of their last 15 matches despite these setbacks. They have won their last three European matches without conceding a single goal. This impressive feat includes victories over Freiburg.
While some have criticized Max Allegri’s pragmatic approach, it has also helped the team remain competitive in a challenging season.
Juventus Form (All Competitions): W W W D L
The team has been on an unbeaten run, winning seven of their last 11 matches and even managing to hold Arsenal to a draw before knocking them out in a penalty shootout.
Sporting’s current form is their best season so far, with their lethal counter-attacking style proving to be a major threat to opponents. Although they could not advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League, they have lost only one of their last six away games in Europe, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
In their most recent match against Primeira Liga surprise package Casa Pia, Sporting emerged victorious in a thrilling 4-3 victory.
Pedro Goncalves, who scored an incredible goal in the previous match against Arsenal, found the back of the net once again, while Francisco Trincao, on loan from Barcelona, completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute to seal the win.
Sporting Lisbon Form (All Competitions): W W W D W
Max Allegri, who himself has recovered from an illness, will be happy to welcome back two players to his squad for Thursday’s match. Moise Kean is set to return from a Serie A suspension, while Mattia De Sciglio is nearing full fitness after an injury.
However, Paul Pogba will remain sidelined due to an injury. Additionally, Leandro Paredes will not be included in the squad after a highly publicized argument with Allegri during an open training session.
The team will be without two key attacking players, Jovane Cabral and Paulinho, as they are recovering from muscular injuries.
In addition, midfielder Manuel Ugarte will also be unavailable for the match, as he received a red card in Sporting’s previous match against Arsenal. As a result, he will be suspended for the upcoming fixture against Juventus.
Juventus’ expected starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Sandro; Cuadrado, Fagioli, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Di Maria; Vlahovic
Sporting Lisbon’s expected starting lineup:
Adan; Diomande, Coates, St. Juste; Esgaio, Goncalves, Morita, Reis; Edwards, Chermiti, Trincao
Head to Head
Juventus and Sporting CP have faced each other thrice, with each team winning once and one match ending in a draw.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Thursday, April 13
Time: 07:00 pm, UTC
Venue: Allianz Arena, Turin
With their reputation for taking the lead and then digging in to secure a win, Juventus are a formidable opponent for any team.
Of course, Sporting will make it challenging for Juventus. They have shown that they can compete with some of Europe’s top teams and will be looking to cause an upset against their Italian opponents.